If they’re given the choice, it’s safe to say most people would rather move in the warm weather months. Everything is easier when the sun is shining and let’s be real, moving day can be tough during the best of times.
The desire to put off a move until the weather warms up is easy to understand but life sometimes gets in the way. Whether you are moving for a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity or downsizing into a more affordable home, sometimes moving during the winter may be the only choice. If you do need to move during the coldest months (shiver), here are some tips for making the experience as easy and painless as possible.
1. Make sure the heat is on at your new home.
If you are moving into a place that’s been vacant, check that utilities are turned on ahead of time. The last thing you want to face is frozen pipes on your first day.
2. Consider renting storage ahead of time.
Moving can take time, and winter weather will just slow things down. If you can, consider renting a storage unit to hold your stuff so you can move it into your new home at your leisure.
3. Start packing before you think you need to.
Planning early is always important, but getting an early start is even more critical for a cold weather move. Start packing those boxes well ahead of schedule so you will be ready for the big day, and make a list certain items to pack later that you’ll start using right away in your new place like paper products, kitchen items, food, pet supplies etc. As moving day gets closer, make sure each family member has a suitcase or “go bag” that contains any clothes, medications, toiletries and other items needed to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible during and after the move.
4. Keep an eye on the weather and stay flexible.
Even the most rock-solid moving plans can be affected by ice and snow, so keep an eye on the sky and a finger on the calendar. Flexibility is the buzzword for cold weather moves, so think ahead and be ready to change your plans if necessary.
5. Weatherproof your belongings.
When the weather gets cold, your belongings may need extra protection, so pack them well, take good care of them, and make sure they arrive at your new home intact. Avoid leaving certain items exposed to cold.
6. Don’t forget about your car.
If you’re planning a long-distance move, your vehicle may need extra attention as well. A pre-move tune-up and safety inspection will give you peace of mind and help you avoid a moving-day breakdown.
7. Allow for extra travel time.
The journey from old home to new is likely to take extra time in the winter so plan accordingly, leave early, and allow plenty of travel time. This advance planning can help you avoid a disruptive time crunch once your move is underway.
8. Set your new home up for easy unpacking.
Moving your belongings out of your old home is only half the battle; the other half is getting unpacked at your new place. Be sure the walkways are shoveled, apply ice melt to the sidewalks, and clear the driveway ahead of time for a trouble-free move-in and unpacking experience.
9. Say thanks to your moving crew.
If your friends or family are helping you move, you will want to reward them with a hot meal, some refreshing drinks, and perhaps a glass of wine or two. If you are using professional movers, there’s nothing wrong with giving the crew a tip and the company a glowing Google review.
Moving day is tough in the best of times, and the challenges are even greater when the weather turns chilly and the snow and ice begin to fly. If you want moving day to be as stress free as possible a little advance planning can make a big difference, so make your to-do list, pack up those boxes, and get ready to make the big move you’ve been waiting for.